If you’ve traveled to other parts of the UK, then you know that as lovely as the top destinations are, they’re often quite full with tourists as well. From London to Scotland, and everywhere in between, major highlights and quaint towns and countryside alike are riddled with visitors seeking a glimpse of something special. For this reason, those who prefer to travel away from the crowds may find that their time is best spent elsewhere.
This, as you probably guessed, brings us to Wales. With equally charming little towns and beautiful nature, yet little of the chaos and claustrophobia of the rest of the UK, it can be a perfect getaway. You can even find a bit of adventure there, if that’s more your speed when traveling! So with all that said, here are some of the best things to see and do in this oft-overlooked destination.
Tranquil Pastures and Scenery
Wales has sheep everywhere, and castles on what seems like every hilltop (over 600 in the small country). You can also visit lakes like Lake Vyrnwy, and take in the beautiful scenery of the farms, hills, and cliffs. Wales is simply idyllic, even at night, when some of the darkest skies in the world (due to limited light pollution) lead to sensational stargazing. There really seems to be no end to the pretty sights you can enjoy and how you can do so – right down to the opportunity to camp out on the cliffs so that you can literally sleep among those dark skies and the pretty pastures and seas below you.
Since the weather is temperate but rarely hot and often rainy, you may be left with a chilly, damp feeling after a magnificent day outside on the cliffs exploring a castle. That said, Welsh beer coupled with rarebit and topped off with sticky toffee pudding makes a comforting visit at the local pub! You may even be able to warm your chilly cheeks as you have a chat by the fireside, enjoying a setting so cozy it seems to be plucked right out of a storybook. Not every pub looks and feels just like this, mind you, but there are a lot of perfectly delightful ones dotted around the country.
Cardiff and Sport
Cardiff isn’t only the capital city of Wales. It’s also the capital of sport in Wales, as home to the Principality Stadium – a multi-purpose venue best known as the home of the national rugby team. The Cardiff City stadium houses the Welsh football team, too, so there are multiple opportunities to visit either place and take in some competition while you’re traveling. Welsh sports may not get quite the attention of English or even Irish teams and leagues, but rest assured these stadiums can make for exciting stops. Local fans come out in support of the teams, and most of the new betting sites coming out of the UK will cover matches (with a small bet here or there being a fun way for some visitors to get more connected to the action). Whether or not you have ties to a given sport or Welsh team, if you have any interest in sport, consider trying to see a live match.
Ziplining and Paragliding
If you like your sports but you’d rather get in some athletic or adventurous activity on your own, look no further than Llechwedd Slate Caverns in Blaenau Ffestiniog. There, you can take a ride on the Titan zip line directly over the scenic town. It’s part of the largest zip zone in the world, and the adventure takes between an hour and-a-half and two hours, depending on the season. Similarly, you can also try paragliding in Pembrokeshire, either tandem or solo (after some lessons). Floating about the breeze and looking down at the tiny dots of sheep in the countryside can be exhilarating and relaxing at once, and may just leave you wondering why you’ve never tried it before.
All in all, it’s a world unexplored by most. These and other activities will allow you to feel that, and enjoy a marvelous experience you’ll always cherish.